It's been an exhausting week for both New York teams, but, uh... well, different results. Mets fans, I really recommend you skip the following section of this post -- all the blue text -- and resume reading farther down. I'll have more for you tomorrow, from Shea Stadium in fact... the Happiest Place on Earth.
First, I have a recap of last night's Wild Card-clinching game up on Bronx Banter. I've gotta say, I'm a real sucker for these locker room celebrations, even when it's a team I have no particular attachment to; it's just so rare to see that many adults so purely happy. A few thoughts that didn't fit in the recap:
-A commenter at the Banter the other day pointed out that Joba Chamberlain's ERA+ is now 1042. Not a typo. 1042. For those of you not sabermetrically inclined, all you need to know is that "ERA+" basically measures how good a pitcher is compared to the rest of his league, and anything over *100* is above average; for context, Mariano Rivera, almost certainly the best reliever in the game over the last 12 years overall, has a lifetime ERA+ of 196. That's awesome, 196. Joba Chamberlain's is 1042.
Now obviously, over time, Chamberlain's numbers will become less incomprehensibly superhuman; doing something for six weeks and doing something for 12 years are two very different things. Nevertheless: that's insane.
Chamberlain earned his first save a few nights ago, as Mariano Rivera was being rested, and it occurs to me that one unintended consequence of Joba Mania is that it actually gives the Yankees a little leverage in their upcoming contract negotiations with Rivera. Back in July, it seemed like they'd have no choice but to give him whatever he wanted, because who on earth would they replace him with? But now, if Rivera does leave (granted, that's highly unlikely), the Yankees have another option for really the first time since 1995.
That said, I can only imagine that letting Mariano Rivera go would result in a hideous boomerang of negative karma so severe that Red Sox fans would be mockingly chanting "2000!" from their 23rd century space bleachers. If you're the Yankees, you just have to pay the guy. But: possibly not quite as much as you thought you would.
Welcome back Mets fans, it's safe now. In other news:
--The police have busted an international steroid ring (again, some more). So who's getting exposed this time? Barack Obama? Cardinal Egan? Maddox Jolie-Pitt? Surprise me.
By the way, you have to love government code names -- this was Operation Raw Deal. Once again I'm reminded that I really need to start giving more things in my life code names.
--Anthony Rieber reveals his plan for world domination in his latest Newsday mailbag. That's not a bad idea about eliminating the leagues, and making divisions all about geography; but, as MLB moves towards change with all the momentum of a three-legged tree sloth on Oxycontin... well, maybe your grandkids will enjoy the new setup one day.
--The Mets... what can you really say at this point? What can they say? I asked some of my Mets fan friends what they'd like to ask the team right now and I got several responses, none of them practical:
1) "What the hell? That's it, just: what the hell?"
2) "Why do you hate me?"
3) "Little Timmy needs a new heart. Little Timmy is very sick. Little
Timmy is a Mets fan. Will you go out there and win one for Little
What I still don't understand is why they couldn't have at least tried to bribe the Nationals, you know? Would that have been so hard? The team just invested a big chunk of capital in Dmitri "Da Meat Hook" Young, so it's not like they couldn't use the cash, and what's another loss or two to them at this point in the season? I trust the Mets will at least give this a shot when facing the Marlins this weekend.